Abracadabra for lead … and zinc

LEAD is not dead. In fact the oft-maligned metal is defying gravity and – abracadabra! – could even inspire a new $180 million base metal mine in the Gascoyne. The Metal Detective, By Stephen Bell

Abracadabra for lead … and zinc Abracadabra for lead … and zinc Abracadabra for lead … and zinc Abracadabra for lead … and zinc Abracadabra for lead … and zinc

Lead is one of those oddballs in the base metals canon.

It follows zinc around like a stray dog and is more famous for killing birds and contaminating Esperance water tanks than keeping our cars on the road.

And it could easily be described as the hidden battery mineral: more than three-quarters of lead demand is used in lead-acid batteries, primarily for vehicle transport fleets.

Let’s not forget that even hybrid vehicles contain lead-acid alongside those rechargeable lithium-ion cells.

Despite all the lithium hoopla, EVs have only captured 1.7% of the global vehicle market to date, Macquarie says, although this is forecast to hit 5% by 2022.

With...